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Complete Guide of German Slang for Texting and Internet

German slang and German internet words can be tough to understand. But no worries, as we’ll guide you through some of the most used expressions and words, so that you can impress your German friends with some stuff that will make you sound like a native speaker. Just to show you a quick example of how hard it can be to understand German slang, take a look:

A Bunch of Leeks

Der Lauch ist heute auf keinstem am Start.

Literally, this means something like:
“This leek will not be at the start for sure.”

Let’s break this down for you. Der Lauch is used these days to describe a skinny person who doesn’t lift weights, and lifting weights is getting really popular nowadays in Germany. Auf keinstem is a short version of the expression auf keinen Fall and means “under no circumstance.” And finally, am Start just means that he won’t join the group for an event or other plans they might have.

So here you have a sentence that consists almost exclusively of German slang. And you won’t just hear this in a text message, but also in a normal conversation.

Can you imagine yourself in a situation where someone’s saying this in a group chat or amid a group of people, and you’re just staring around with question marks over your head?

As you can see, learning German slang can make you much more fluent in the language. You never know just when it’ll come in handy!

That said, you may also want to see part one of our German slang series and refresh your knowledge of German idioms. When you’re ready, we’ll go over more useful German text message slang below!

Table of Contents

  1. About German Internet Slang
  2. German Texting Shortcuts
  3. Slang Outside of Texting and Internet
  4. Youth Speech
  5. How GermanPod101.com Can Help You Learn More German Slang

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1. About German Internet Slang

Nowadays, the world wide web is becoming more important for nearly all aspects of our lives. This is also true when you’re learning a language and when it comes down to communicating with people. And the communication between people online is much different than it is in a spoken conversation.

Maybe, if you’re an intermediate or advanced speaker, you already have some friends or even colleagues from Germany, and keeping in contact with them has never been easier than today with the help of social media. However, in comments, text messages, and tags, you might find it difficult to keep up on a subject.

To keep you up-to-date, we’ll provide you with some free resources. Maybe you want to improve your speaking skills quickly, or improve your knowledge on any other subject you can imagine.

The German texting style has changed a bit over time and we’ve now arrived at a point where we’re using something that you can call Kurzdeutsch (short German). This simply shows that we’re now using shortened expressions in text messages instead of using full sentences. So we cut out verbs or pronouns which aren’t always necessary, and that can bring learners into trouble when they’ve just started out learning the language with all its specifications. But internet slang, to a native German, is simple and standard.

Here, we hope to alleviate some of your fears and frustrations regarding German internet slang phrases! So without further ado, our guide to German text message slang and how to text in German.


2. German Texting Shortcuts

1- BD (Bis dann)

First on our German internet slang list is BD. When saying goodbye with the intention of meeting again later that day, you can use Bis dann. If you’re referring to meeting again on another day, it may be better to use Bis bald.

Meaning:
See you. / See you later.
CUL8R

Example:
Wir sehen uns später, BD.
We meet each other later, CUL8R.

2- LOL (Laughing Out Loud)

Yes, like everywhere else in the world, we also use “lol” in German. I’m sure you all know what it means.

Meaning:
Laughing Out Loud.

Example:
Er ist die Treppe heruntergefallen, LOL.
He fell down the stairs, LOL.

3- ILD (Ich liebe dich)

The sound of love is beautiful in every language, and yes, even in German.

Two Hands Forming a Heart. The Hands are Painted with the South African Flag

Meaning:
I love you.

Example:
Ich wünsche dir einen schönen Tag, ILD.
I wish you a good day, love you.

4- HDL and HDGDL (Hab Dich Lieb and Hab Dich Ganz Doll Lieb)

This is still a shortcut from the old days when text messaging was born in Germany. Today it might sound a bit odd and old school, but some people still use it.

Meaning:
I like you. / I love you.
I like you a lot. / I love you a lot.

Example:
Du bist meine beste Freundin, HDGDL.
You are my best friend, I love you.

5- IDA (Ich Dich Auch)

This is used as a quick response to the shortcuts we learned in the numbers 3 and 4 above.

Meaning:
I like you, too. / I love you, too. / Me too.

Example:
Du bist auch meine beste Freundin, IDA.
You are my best friend too, love you too.

6- kA (keine Ahnung)

You know the situation when you have no idea what to answer. When this happens, you can just type kA and the other person knows that he or she might better ask someone else.

Meaning:
No idea. / I have no clue.

Example:
Ich habe kA wie das funktioniert.
I have no clue how that works.

7- SuFu (SuchFunktion)

This is commonly used in groups on Facebook or other social media. This is often used by admins who want to suggest to you that it’s better to use the search bar than to open an old subject again.

Showing a Smartphone and a Search Function Button

Meaning:
Search function.

Example:
Bitte benutzt die SuFu.
Please, use the search function.

8- WE (WochenEnde)

This is just a shortcut for “weekend.” You can also type this out, but using the abbreviation offers you a quick way of asking what a person is going to do during their free time over the weekend.

Meaning:
Weekend.

Example:
Was machst du am WE?
What are you doing on the weekend?

9- WD (Wieder da)

With this slang, you let someone know that you’re back from an activity.

Meaning:
I’m back.

Example:
Ich war kurz auf Toilette, WD.
I just went to the toilet, back again.

10- AFK and BTK (Weg von der Tastatur / Zurück an der Tastatur)

This is often used by gamers and in the computer scene. Often, gamers are in a chat with their teammates and go for a quick round to the bathroom, and let them know that they’re away from the keyboard or that they’re back to the keyboard.

Meaning:
Away from keyboard. / Back to keyboard.

Example:

  • Ich bin afk.
    I am afka (away from keyboard).
  • Ich bin btk.
    I am btk (back to keyboard).

11- XOXO (Umarmung und Küsschen)

Like LOL, all the world is using this slang already. You know what it means.

Meaning:
Hugs and kisses.

Example:
Wir sehen uns morgen XOXO.
We will see each other tomorrow, XOXO.

12- Vlt. and Vllt (Vielleicht)

The word vielleicht is used often in the German language. But to be fair, the word itself isn’t really easy to type on a keyboard and in nine out of ten cases you’re making mistakes. So instead, everybody just types “vlt.” And that’s it.

Meaning:
Maybe.

Example:
Hast du vlt. Heute Abend Zeit?
Do you might have some time tonight?

13- Y (Warum)

Meaning:
Why?

Example:
Y hat dich dein Freund verlassen?
Why did your boyfriend break up with you?

14- HDF (Halt die Fresse)

Not a really nice statement, but we wanted to mention it here, as you might come across it. Nowadays, hate speech and bad words are common on social media and the rest of the WWW, so you might stumble across a person who doesn’t agree with you.

Meaning:
Shut up. / Shut your mouth.

Example:
Du bist ein Idiot, HDF.
You are an idiot, shut your mouth.


3. Slang Outside of Texting and Internet

1- Alter

This expression is the short version of Alter Schwede which translates to “old Swedish” and is widely used to express surprise, to greet someone, or even as an interjection. By the way, from some German youth groups, you’ll hear this expression a lot.

Meaning:
Dude.

Example:
Alter! Das sind deine neuen Schuhe?
Dude, those are your new shoes?

2- Moin

Here we just have another way to say hello in German slang. This is widely used everywhere, and by all age groups. So with this slang, you’re set up perfectly. Natively it refers to a way of saying “good morning” in German slang from the south.

Meaning:
Hey. / Hi.

Example:
Moin, was geht ab?
Hey, what is going on?

There are many more ways to say hello in German.

3- Krass

If you’re looking for a German slang word to describe almost everything, then you’ve found it. It can be used to describe things in a good way as well as in a bad one. Mostly, you’ll use this word as an adjective for a situation or a thing.

Meaning:
Cool! / Sweet! / Awesome!

Example:
Krass, wie gut der Junge Fußball spielt.
What?! It’s impressive how good this guy plays football.

4- Assi

Technically, this is a short version of the word asozial which means “antisocial.” It can be used for a person who lives on the street, and is uneducated and unemployed, or as an adjective for something of poor quality. But more so, it’s used around friends in a funny way. For example, you can use it if a friend does something that you think wasn’t appropriate.

Meaning:
Chav.

Example:

  • Hör auf meine Pommes zu essen, du Assi.
    Stop eating my fries, you chav.
  • Der Typ ist echt assi.
    This guy is really chavvy.

5- Hammer

This is the German word for “hammer” but it’s also used when you want to describe something that’s amazing, awesome, or beautiful.

A Hammer and a Nail

Meaning:
Doozy. / Cool.

Example:
Wow, es ist echt der Hammer, wie gut die Frau tanzen kann.
Wow, it’s really cool how this woman can dance.

6- Geil

This one is a bit more difficult because the direct translation is “horny,” and you can use it to express this, but it’s more often used like the word Hammer. If you think something is great, describe it with geil.

Meaning:
Amazing. / Great. / Brilliant.

Example:
Ich habe einen geiles Auto gesehen.
I saw an amazing car.

7- Bescheuert

Meaning:
Dumb. / Stupid.

Example:
Das ist total bescheuert.
This is completely dumb.

8- Jein

This is a mix of the words ja which means “yes” and the word nein which means “no.” We always use this word when something isn’t clear and you can’t decide whether to say yes or no.

Meaning:
Yes and no.

Example:

  • Bist du immer noch mit deiner Freundin zusammen?
    Jein.
  • Are you still together with your girlfriend?
    Yes and no.


4. Youth Speech

The way young people talk today is so different in Germany than from other generations. On Wikipedia, there’s actually a really good article about the German youth speech.

1- I bim’s

This comes from a social media trend in Germany. Some people make jokes about the German language and change them in their own way. From Ich bin es they made I bim’s. If you speak this quickly and with some accent, it sounds almost the same.

Meaning:
Ich bin’s.

Example:
I bim’s ein Baum
Look, I am a tree.

2- Ehrenmann

Meaning:
Man of honor.

Example:
Du hast mir geholfen, du bist ein echter Ehrenmann.
You helped me out, you are a real man of honor.

3- Lauch

As we already explained above in the beginning of this article, a Lauch is a person who looks fairly skinny and doesn’t lift weights. As lifting weights is getting quite popular nowadays in Germany, you’ll hear this word often.

Meaning:
Skinny guy.

Example:
Er ist so dünn, dieser Lauch.
He is such a skinny guy.

4- Babo

Meaning:
Boss. / Leader.

Example:
Er ist ein echter Babo in seinem Viertel.
He is a real boss in his hood.

5- Beef

Pieces of Meat

Meaning:
Dispute. / Argument.

Example:
Er und sein Freund haben gerade beef.
He and his friend are having an argument right now.


5. How GermanPod101.com Can Help You Learn More German Slang

Here, we listed for you almost 30 German slang expressions that we’re using in our daily life, especially the youth and when texting in general. We hope you’re now ready to impress some of your German friends with what you’ve learned here, and that you found our translations of German internet slang to English helpful.

Remember that these expressions can be easily adapted from every German learner from every level. At GermanPod101.com, we provide free special classes and lessons for beginners, intermediate learners, and advanced students.

If you want to get a bit more serious with learning German, then we can offer you a private teacher who specializes in helping you learn based on your needs and your goals regarding the German language.

For now, keep on practicing this German internet slang of 2019. You’ll sound like a native before you know it.

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